How far can I run USB-C with or without a powered hub?

How far can I run usb-c w/ or w/o powered hub? I need to setup my computer about 10 feet from my mixer in my studio. I have a powered hub at the mixer and now I need to move the computer about 10 feet away. Do I need another powered hub at the computer as well as. powered hub at the mixer? Thanks for any and all comments and suggestions.

10 feet is not a problem if you have the right cable. That usually depends on how much wattage you need transport (eg. powering a small drive vs. charging a 16" MBP) and if you also need fast data across the same cable.

This $17 cable will not only do 100W over 10 feet, it also supports up to 20 Gbps data transfer (3.2 Gen 2).


It depends on the speed you require, how precise your timing requirements are, and how much you want to spend.


Important points:

  • USB 1.x is limited to 3m
  • USB 2.0 is limited to 5m
  • Later versions of the spec don’t give an actual limit, but specify various signal quality parameters. So any cable that meets the parameters can be certified, without regard to length.

That having been said, a basic passive USB-C cable will likely have the following length limits, depending on the speed of your data:

  • USB 2 (up to 480 Mbps) - 5m
  • USB 3 (up to 5Mbps) - 4m
  • USB 3 (up to 10 Mbps) - 2-3m
  • USB 3 (up to 20 Mbps) - 1m
  • USB 3 (up to 40 Mbps) - less than 1m

But you can also get active or optical cables, which will work over much longer distances. But they will cost more.


Thanks, David.

I appreciate you responding to my question. I will take your information into consideration when I get ready to rearrange my studio.

I have one powered USB hub feeding another one 12ft away with various scanners/printers/backup drives. For a stable connection the quality of the cable was key.

Define usb-c.
A Type-C connector connects USB4 and ThunderBolt 4 or 3.

USB 3.0, 3.1, and 3.2 are data speeds and use Type-A connectors.

Nah, you can find plenty stuff that uses 3.0, 3.1 or 3.2 and -C type connections. For 3.1 and upward, the protocol defines the speed, not the connector. The only simple rule of thumb is that you will never find TB use USB-A type connectors. But a C connector by itself means next to nothing — could be all kinds of stuff.

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For that matter, you can even carry USB 1.x and 2.x over a type-C connector.

Note, in the pinout spec that it includes the legacy D+/D- pins (A6, A7, B6, B7) for USB low/full/high-speed data, in addition to the SuperSpeed SSTX*/SSRX* pins (A2, A3, A10, A11, B2, B3, B10, B11) which carry all of the faster speeds (5.0 Gbps and up).

Taking this, and the various “alternate modes” into consideration, the presence of a type-C connector doesn’t mean anything without additional information describing the device’s capabilities with respect to the port.

Simon and David C Shamino and other interested readers.



USB 3.0,3.1and 3.2 are technically correct but woefully under-worded.
When i wrote the Thunderbolt article 2 years ago some of these things weren’t obvious. For example, peripherhal mfgrs were faced with two options - recommend to existing customers to use type 4 adapters, or add type 4 connectors and plugs to the existing line and go the a possible USB 4 recertificaion to carry the logo. Seems lke Type 4 was the outcome.

In this link USB4 history of USB 3.1 - 3.2 protocols, connectors and speeds notice that USB1 is not mentioned. In the USB4 spec backward compatabiltiy support for all protocols is called for except for UCB 1. I read somewhere that USB 1 cables were awful in that the user had to select the correct cable or possible face machine damage.

Hope those corects my scant reply. MIke

David C.Shamino

Regarding this link:

I read it and:

  • The PDF was mostly at a “silly” example of 5 serially connected hubs and propagation delay.
    USB4 does not do hop-to-hop but end-to-end with Direct Memory Access.
    I don’t get proportion delay - example please.

  • The USB-IF link now points to three current meetings (e.g. USB4 2.0 is in spec state). A few months/yrs ago there might have been USB 2.0 relevant info. no help

  • The article does address 3.0-3.2 protocols and active cables. Helpful

  • The part on attenuation can be solved with a bigger cable. A Story: I had to use this method when I was wiring/rewiring a neighbor’s second floor house addition. I installed a bigger circuit breaker box, new mast, and grounding stake. The sub-paned was to be on the 2nd floor about 65’-75’ away as the crow flies. If the crow was to carry the cable, the path was 2 stories up, an L shape across the house, then to the back, and down to the panel. A net length well over 100’. I’d read the NEC (National Electrical Code) before the job and it mentioned a 10% loss of voltage at 100’. That’s translated to an 11 volt drop using 12 gauge wire, well past the brown-out level at 105 volts. I ended up using an 8 gauge cable. Copper is very expensive.

Feb 16

FYI - a handy conversion tool. Amps x Volts = Watts. Computers operate at a nominal 5 volts.
Amps x 5 = Watts or Watts/5 = Amps

HTH Mike

That’s an oversimplification, and out of date. 5v was common for TTL logic in the 80’s and 90’s, but modern systems usually run at significantly lower voltages. 3.3v, 2.5v and 1.8v are very common. And some devices (especially modern CPUs and GPUs) have configurable/variable voltages, so operating system software can boost it (to support higher clock frequencies) and cut it (for power saving).

WRT communication buses, 5v, is used for several popular ones (including USB), but it’s far from universal. For example, the RS-232 serial-port standard uses positive/negative voltages to represent bits, and they can range between 3 and 15v. (I seem to remember 12v being used by IBM PC serial ports).

I stand corrected.

However I pulled this “nominal voltage” from a USB article. This thread is about USB. No?

The formula - amps x volts = watts - is immutable. I should have referenced Ohm’s law for the attenuation comment on resistance. Instead I used a real life experience to backup extending attenuation.